Botswana Geography - 2023


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


Southern Africa, north of South Africa

Geographic coordinates

22 00 S, 24 00 E

Map references



total: 581,730 sq km

land: 566,730 sq km

water: 15,000 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Texas; almost four times the size of Illinois

Land boundaries

total: 4,347.15 km

border countries (4): Namibia 1,544 km; South Africa 1,969 km; Zambia 0.15 km; Zimbabwe 834 km


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


semiarid; warm winters and hot summers


predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest


highest point: Manyelanong Hill 1,495 m

lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m

mean elevation: 1,013 m

Natural resources

diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver

Land use

agricultural land: 45.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 45.2% (2018 est.)

forest: 19.8% (2018 est.)

other: 34.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

25 sq km (2014)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Zambezi (shared with Zambia [s]), Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique [m]) - 2,740 km; Limpopo (shared with South Africa [s], Zimbabwe, and Mozambique [m]) - 1,800 km; Okavango river mouth (shared with Angola [s], and Namibia) - 1,600 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Orange (941,351 sq km)
Indian Ocean drainage: Zambezi (1,332,412 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Okavango Basin (863,866 sq km)

Major aquifers

Lower Kalahari-Stampriet Basin, Upper Kalahari-Cuvelai-Upper Zambezi Basin

Population distribution

the population is primarily concentrated in the east with a focus in and around the captial of Gaborone, and the far central-eastern city of Francistown; population density remains low in other areas in the country, especially in the Kalahari to the west as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility

Geography - note

landlocked; sparsely populated with most settlement concentrated in the southern and eastern parts of the country; geography dominated by the Kalahari Desert, which covers about 70% of the country, although the Okavango Delta brings considerable biodiversity as one of the largest inland deltas in the World 

NOTE: The information regarding Botswana on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Botswana 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Botswana 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.